When Samsung Electronics (NASDAQOTH: SSNLF) finally gave the world its first peek at its upcoming Galaxy Fold last November, the device's exterior design was still largely masked by a boxy case.
Of course, we're now less than a month away from the Galaxy Fold's official April 26 launch. And the company has made available a plethora of images detailing its sleek design, punctuated by its ability to transform from a smartphone to a tablet thanks to its foldable 7.3-inch interior OLED display.
Early last week, however, an obviously unofficial video surfaced on YouTube with what appeared to be the first close-up, hands-on look at the Galaxy Fold ahead of its release.
The problem? That video also revealed a pronounced crease along the center of the Galaxy Fold's tablet display even when the device was completely opened. Perhaps unsurprisingly -- at least given the years of R&D that led up to this launch and the Galaxy Fold's high suggested retail price of nearly $2,000 -- the unsightly issue prompted an outcry from technology enthusiasts around the Web.
"...no crease whatsover"
Speaking to tech news site Foldable News on Tuesday, however, Samsung representative Cella Sin insisted there would be no such issue in the commercially available version of the Galaxy Fold.
"The device used in the YouTube video may have been a prototype or rejected production device -- we don't know," Sin explained. "But what we do know is that the phones going to the end users will have no crease whatsoever, not even when the display is off, or all white."
As if to hammer that point home, Samsung followed on Wednesday with a clip to showcase the folding tests it performs on the Galaxy Fold. Nowhere in that video can an evident crease be seen on the opened devices.
"Samsung subjected the Galaxy Fold to several rounds of extensive tests in its state-of-the-art reliability labs," the company wrote in the video's description. "Naturally, given the smartphone's design, a Folding Test was a pivotal part of the Galaxy Fold's durability assessment."
More specifically, Samsung says the Galaxy Fold was tested with 200,000 folds and unfolds -- more than enough to open and close the device 100 times a day for five years without degrading.
But this also shouldn't be entirely surprising, considering Samsung told investors last November that, as part of the Galaxy Fold's development, it had created a new flexible adhesive capable of being folded and unfolded "hundreds of thousands of times" without degradation.
The bottom line
Still, the unauthorized video with a presumed prototype or rejected production device did Samsung no favors. And the company was right to scramble its PR teams in an effort to quickly debunk speculation surrounding such a fatal flaw.
In any case, the world will soon be able to confirm for itself whether the Galaxy Fold has what it takes to withstand the abuse only millions of consumers can dish out. But if it proves successful to that end, it could usher in a new era of foldable devices and disrupt the world of smartphones and tablets as we know it.